Milwaukee Brewers: Is Ryan Braun worth his salary?

MILWAUKEE, WI - AUGUST 13: Ryan Braun
MILWAUKEE, WI - AUGUST 13: Ryan Braun /
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Milwaukee Brewers fans often complain about Ryan Braun’s salary and how little production the team gets for the money. Let’s take a look at others who make the same salary as him in 2018 in order to compare.

Ryan Braun will get paid $20 million by the Milwaukee Brewers this year and is currently tied for 37th in the 2018 salary rankings. Clayton Kershaw has the highest salary in 2018, making over $35 million this year.

There is no question that Braun’s stat line has gotten worse the last couple of years.  Because of injuries and rest days his number of at bats has decreased as well. This year Braun is currently on pace to hit about .260 with 27 home runs and 81 RBI’s.

When comparing Braun to other players who are making $20 million or more this year, his production he is providing isn’t nearly as poor as most would think.

Here is a list of the other players with the same salary in 2018: Russell Martin, Troy Tulowitzki, Alex Gordon, Yadier Molina, David Wright and Shin-Soo Choo.

The others making $20 million this year

Martin, the 35 year old catcher for the Blue Jays, batted .221, with 13 homers and 35 RBIs in 307 plate appearances last year. This year he is on pace to bat .156 with 18 homers and 42 RBIs in 384 plate appearances. Martin’s power numbers are strong, but the rest of his stats are not great.  His caught stealing percentage in 2016 was 15% and 20% in 2017.

Tulowitzki hasn’t played a game this year due to heel surgery. He isn’t anticipated to return until at least late May or early June. Last year he batted .249 with 7 homers and 26 RBIs in 241 plate appearances. Tulowitzki’s 2017 was abbreviated due to on-going injuries.

This year, Gordon is batting .259 with one homer and four RBIs in 58 plate appearances. He has only 58 at bats because he recently returned from the 10-day disabled list with a hip injury. In 2017, Gordon hit just above .200 with nine homers and 45 RBI’s in under 500 plate appearances.

Molina is one player who makes the same salary as Braun in 2018 and stands out from the rest of the players listed. Molina rarely misses a game, plays great defense, and still does well statistically even at 35 years old. He is the leader of the Cardinals. Molina is doing well this year. He is hitting almost .270 and already has six homers. In 2017 he batted .274 with 18 homers, 82 RBIs, and even had nine stolen bases.

Wright hasn’t played a game since 2016 because of various injuries. In 2016 he only had 137 at-bats and had dismal stats during this time. Because of these injuries, there are huge question marks about his ability to ever play again.

Finally, there is 35 year old Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo.  As far as recent production goes, Choo looks a lot like Braun. They are both about the same age, both play outfield, both have had injury issues, and both have put up good but not great numbers the last couple of years.

Next: How bad is relying on the long ball?

For a small market team like the Milwaukee Brewers, fans expect a high level of production from any player making $20 million per year. However, when you look at the other players making the same salary, maybe Braun isn’t as bad as it may seem.